Being from the Northeast, it
was always painful to see commercials about "Thrill Park
Destinations" and how their park had the best thrill rides on the
planet. I always wanted an amusement park that I could call home. However,
to enjoy a variety of rides meant that you had to travel back and forth to
the few parks scattered throughout New England to ride more than one
coaster. Lincoln Park in North Dartmouth had the Comet Coaster and not
much else. Paragon Park on Nantasket Beach had the Wild Thing now located
at Six Flags, America in Largo, MD. Canobie Lake Park, just over the
border in nearby New Hampshire, is home to the Yankee Cannonball (2 others
not worth mentioning). Whalom Park in Lunenburg, MA has the Flying Comet
Coaster, and at the time (1976) Riverside Park in Agawam, MA had only one
coaster. Riverside's own Thunderbolt. So you see, it was not really worth
going back and forth to each park only to ride one or two coasters. Over
the years parks fell by the wayside and it looked as if the New England
winters were knocking parks out cold.
In 1977 Riverside
Park thrilled coaster enthusiasts by building an Arrow Shuttle Loop
coaster called Black Widow (sold off). It was not enough for the area and
Riverside seemed it would not survive. Fortunately, at the time, Riverside
Park was home to NASCAR's #1 Short Circuit (now
gone) which helped
Riverside stay on track.
In 1983 Riverside,
with help from William Cobb and Associates, built a world class coaster
called "Cyclone". Things were starting to shape up and now
Riverside became the place to be. Cyclone, ranks among the best in
the Wooden Coaster genre and continues to thrill riders now and always.
Heed the neck warning signs on this one.
With the advent of
new technologies, Riverside was falling behind the power curve again and
it looked as if the park was about to become history. In 1996 Riverside
Park was bought by visionaries, none other than the people at Premier
Parks (PP). PP realized that the New England people needed a jolt, so they
set their sites on Riverside Park. During the autumn of 1996, Premier
Parks stacked the deck and shuffled out new and exciting rides such as The
Mind Eraser, a $10 Million suspended looping monster coaster. Chaos, a
360° twist on the basic round and around ride. Time Warp, a
Million-Dollar upside-down swinging scream machine, and Shipwreck Falls a
50 foot drop into drenching excitement.
disappointing park, Riverside became a world class Theme park. Premier
wasn't done with the $22 Million expansion. PP realized that Western
Massachusetts needed more, so for the 1998 season they decided to throw in
a $20 million Water Park.
1999 saw the
addition of Blizzard River, this ride is tubular, no not the 80's lingo.
You ride in a large tire structure and careen wildly down a watery course
amidst a frozen Antarctic backdrop sliding safely back to Base Camp 5.
They didn't stop
there. For the 2000 season they added three new coasters, new parking and
changed the name to Six Flags, New England. With $100 million worth of new
rides, attractions, and more to come, the people at Six Flags (Premier
Parks) has made many New Englanders very, very happy.
Make up your own
mind. If you don't experience the thrill in the air, then you have sensory
Best days to go:
Wednesday, Tuesday, Thursday, Monday, Friday, Sunday, Saturday. In that
I have to mention a
few negative points. SFNE is generally crowded and lines move slowly. I
think we have shown allegiance long enough. Get more coasters, do away
with the picnic grove. Be a theme park. Create a circular flow to the
park. You know, just like the original Six Flags theme parks.
I see great
potential within the boundaries of the Picnic Grove (PG). Move PG to the
west of RT159.
On the positive
The food is better, the employees
seem happy, knowledgeable, competent and just plain nice.
Plus they have the best coaster in the world.
That's why I have a lot of confidence for the future.